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Copan: Visit the Mayan ruins of Copan

Visit the Mayan ruins of Copan

One of the major ruins of Central America and certainly the most important in Honduras, Copán is a magnificent archaeological monument at the furthermost edges of Mayan dominion.

While it lacks the towering pyramids and temples found at some other Mayan sites, the extraordinary detail and artistry of its sculptures and stelae more than make up for a less superficially impressive layout.

There is a collection of 3-metre-high columns etched with royal portraits, animals and depictions of historical events and religious iconography – probably the most sophisticated stonework produced by Mesoamerica's ancient civilisations. You can also see the hieroglyphic stairway leading up the side of a pyramid, and the ball courts where the outcome of ritual sports sealed the fate of sacrificial victims.

Near to the ruins, are the impressive stelae at Quirigua, an archaeological site that once sat at the juncture of several important trade routes.

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